August 9, 2003 - Yahoo News: Ethiopia RPCV and State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi drops out of California Governor's race

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: August 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: August 9, 2003 - Yahoo News: Ethiopia RPCV and State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi drops out of California Governor's race

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 10:07 am: Edit Post

Ethiopia RPCV and State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi drops out of California Governor's race

Caption: California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a former Democratic state senator, answers questions from reporters in Sacramento, Calif., after he announced he would drop his bid for governor Saturday, Aug. 9, 2003, hours before the deadline to file his candidacy papers in the October recall election. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

Read and comment on this story from Yahoo News that Ethiopia RPCV and California State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Saturday reversed his decision to run for governor in the recall election, but denied that he felt pressured out by fellow Democrats worried about losing the governor's office at:

Democrat Denies Pressure in Calif. Recall*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Democrat Denies Pressure in Calif. Recall
Sat Aug 9, 9:25 PM ET

By JENNIFER COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Saturday reversed his decision to run for governor in the recall election, but denied that he felt pressured out by fellow Democrats worried about losing the governor's office.

AP Photo

"I know firsthand that this recall election has become a circus," Garamendi told reporters. "I have concluded I will not engage in this election as a candidate."

His decision left Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante as the sole high-level Democrat remaining in the race to replace Democratic Gov. Gray Davis (news - web sites), if the recall vote is successful.

Some Democrats, fearful that a split vote could cost them the governor's office, had urged one of the Democratic candidates to pull out.

Garamendi said Friday that some Democrats had urged him to drop out, but said Saturday that he hadn't felt pressured and made his decision after talking to voters in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

"I hear the concerns of Californians that the Golden State is tarnished," he said. "I share that concern."

The Central Valley rancher has a long career in public service, including stints as state Senate majority leader and President Clinton (news - web sites)'s Interior Department negotiator to resolve California's water wars between farmers, cities and environmentalists.

He said he'll devote his time now to fight the recall effort and to accomplish his goals as insurance commissioner, the job he was elected to in November.

Bustamante said Garamendi's decision was a "very gracious act of sacrifice" that would help his "just-in-case" candidacy.

"The Democratic Party is united around the slogan that I introduced Thursday morning, no on recall, yes on Bustamante," Bustamante said. "For the next 59 days I will work as hard as I can on both parts of that campaign slogan."

He said Garamendi called him Saturday and asked if he planned to drop out. When Bustamante said he was staying in, Garamendi gave no indication he was considering pulling out of the race.

Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, called Garamendi's withdrawal "a selfless act."

"Today John deferred his dreams for the sake of a principle," Pulaski said in a statement. "Today he made a personal sacrifice in order to protect the state from a takeover by those who seek to dismantle everything he has worked for during his years of public service."

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